Publication - Progress report

Coronavirus Acts: eighth report To Scottish Parliament (August 2021)

Published: 13 Aug 2021
From:
Deputy First Minister
Directorate:
Covid Co-ordination Directorate
Part of:
Coronavirus in Scotland
ISBN:
9781802012477

This is the eighth, two-monthly report on the Coronavirus Acts in which the Scottish Government sets out the status and operation of the legislation necessary to respond to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. This report is the latest in our regular reporting on coronavirus-related legislation.

Coronavirus Acts: eighth report To Scottish Parliament (August 2021)
6. Status update Status update

6. Status update Status update

6.1. Table One below provides detail on the status and operation of the provisions under Part 1 of the first and second Scottish Acts, and the provisions of the UK Act for which the Scottish Parliament gave legislative consent.

6.2. This includes information on the provisions which have been expired or suspended in this reporting period.

6.3. Where it is indicated in Table One that provisions have been expired as they are ‘spent’ provisions, this may mean that the provisions make amendments to other legislation and therefore the provisions themselves no longer need to remain in force. The operation of section 15(2)(d) of the Interpretation and Legislative Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 means that the expiry of these provisions does not affect the amendments they have made to other legislation. The effect of the expiry is simply to remove the ‘spent’ provisions in each of the Scottish Acts. Other provisions have been expired as ‘spent’ as they no longer have any practical effect as their purpose has now been served.

6.4. As outlined above, this approach to reporting will ensure that the Parliament is given as much information as is available across all of the provisions in the relevant legislation, but with a particular emphasis on those provisions which have been identified as being likely to have the most significant impacts or interest. Where supplementary information has been provided, this is indicated within the ‘description of provision’ and ‘operation of the provision in the reporting period’ columns within Table One, and further information is provided at section seven.

Table One – Status and operation of provisions
Table Ref. Act Provision Description of provision Operation of the provision in reporting period eight (ending 31 July 2021) Status at the end of reporting period eight (31 July 2021) and details of any change of status since last reporting period
1. First Scottish Act Section 2 and schedule 1 – Eviction from dwelling-houses See section 7.1.1 In operation Supplementary information provided – see section 7.1.1 for further information Commenced and still in force. No change to status since last reporting period.
2. First Scottish Act Section 3 and schedule 2 - Temporary extension of moratoria on diligence The provisions extend the period of any new moratoria to a period of six months, and removes the limitation that only one such moratorium can be applied for in any twelve month period. In operation Extended moratorium is available for individuals to apply. As at 30 June 2021, 2,731 applications had been granted under the new powers. Commenced and still in force.
No change to status since last reporting period.
Provisions contained in the Coronavirus (Extension and Expiry) Scotland Act include:
Extension of Section 3, schedule 2, paragraphs 1 and 4 (6 month moratorium period) from 30 September 2021. Expiry of Section 3, schedule 2, paragraphs 2 and 3 (moratorium on diligence: multiple applications) from 30 September 2021.
3. First Scottish Act Section 4 and schedule 3 – Children and vulnerable adults – Part 1 – Children See section 7.1.2 Child protection provisions – in operation
Children’s hearings provisions – in operation
Looked after children provisions – in operation Supplementary information provided - see section 7.1.2 for further information
Commenced and still in force:
Section 4 and schedule 3, paragraphs 1-5 and 7-10.
Expired:
Paragraphs 2(2)[2] and 6[3] of schedule 3.
No change to status since last reporting period. By virtue of provisions contained in the Coronavirus (Extension and Expiry) Scotland Act, all remaining provisions of Section 4, schedule 3, Part 1 are due to expire at the end of 30 September 2021, subject to transitional and saving provisions
4. First Scottish Act Section 4 and schedule 3 – Children and vulnerable adults – Part 2 – Vulnerable adults See section 7.1.3 Not in operation Paragraph 11(1) expired on 29 September 2020 and the rest of Paragraph 11 was suspended as from 30 September 2020. No change to status since last reporting period
Paragraph 11(1)[4] - Expired Paragraph 11(2) and (3)[5] - Suspended
5. First Scottish Act Section 5 and schedule 4, Part 1 - Courts and tribunals: conduct of business by electronic means These provisions allow documents produced by a court or tribunal, or connected with criminal or civil proceedings, to be signed and transmitted electronically, removing the requirement for physical movement and contact. This enables documents to be sent, served and lodged by means of email or other electronic means. The provisions also provide that any participant in either criminal or civil proceedings (judge, clerk, legal representatives, parties to proceedings, accused, convicted persons, appellants and witnesses) can take part in any proceedings by way of live visual (television) or audio (telephone) link from any location. In operation
Remote hearings and electronic processes have increased across all areas of criminal and civil business. The Lord President has stated the use of written submissions, the digital transmission of documents and the use of electronic signatures have enabled swift process changes which are necessary to operate court services efficiently.
The conduct of virtual courtroom trials has been piloted and criminal justice organisations are working together to develop a model for trials to be conducted virtually where appropriate. With the introduction of remote jury centres, the normal capacity of 16 trials per day for High Court evidence-led trials had been restored by November 2020 with robust public health measures and guidance in place to protect all court users, including jurors and staff. In addition, Sheriff and Jury trials are now back to pre-COVID levels through the use of remote jury centres, with eighteen Sheriff courts now running jury trials linked to these centres.
On 12 March 2021 a Practice Note was issued by Sheriff Principal Derek Pyle. This set out that from May 2021 the majority of domestic abuse summary trials in Aberdeen Sheriff Court will be conducted virtually, with only the accused person and their solicitor having to be present in the court premises. Sheriff Principal Pyle noted that this initiative would improve the experience for witnesses and ensure the rights of the accused are protected during trials. It will allow up to nine trials to take place each week, which would otherwise not be able to proceed because of COVID-19 restrictions and also offers the opportunity for a national roll-out to provide much needed additional capacity.
As of 8 March 2021 over 4,200 custody hearings have also been completed by remote and electronic methods.
Civil business continues to operate virtually and remotely, as has been the case throughout the pandemic - almost all civil court and tribunal business is now conducted online or by telephone with all documents in civil cases lodged electronically; all new summonses signetted electronically and evidential hearings for civil cases being held remotely. In the Sheriff Appeal Court almost all civil hearings are being conducted remotely. From 13 July 2020 the All-Scotland Sheriff Personal Injury Court (ASSPIC) transitioned to a remote basis. The first ASSPIC proof hearings (for hearing evidential cases remotely) commenced in early August and since late November Scotland’s Sheriff civil courts are now conducting proofs, debates, evidential and Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) hearings virtually using the WebEx video platform. The first blended civil proof (proof using both in person and video evidence) has taken place. Arrangements are currently being made for further blended commercial proofs in the Court of Session and work continues on plans for civil jury trial resumption both in the Court of Session and ASSPIC.
Commenced and still in force No change to status since last reporting period.
6. First Scottish Act Section 5 and schedule 4, Part 2 - Fiscal fines The provisions enable a wider range of cases to be dealt with by fiscal fine and, thereby, mitigate the impact of coronavirus on the justice system. In operation
In accordance with the revised policy guidance issued by the Lord Advocate in relation to fiscal fines, the increase in fine amounts enables alternative action to be taken in a wider range of cases, where such action is assessed as appropriate by prosecutors.
Prosecutors are directed to first consider offering a direct measure, in particular a fiscal fine, in relation to appropriate cases which would otherwise have proceeded in the Justice of the Peace court.
In the period since 7 April 2020 up until 30 June 2021, 17,131 people or approximately 26% of individuals who received a first marking action for a Direct Measure were offered a fiscal fine. Since implementation of the revised scale on 7 April 2020, 510 people or 3% of individuals offered a fiscal fine have been issued a fine amount above the previous scale maximum of £300.
For as long as court business is affected by COVID-19, these provisions will continue to be required. COPFS will continue to monitor and review the use of the measure, which will only be used where such action is considered appropriate in the public interest.
Commenced and still in force. No change to status since last reporting period
7. First Scottish Act Section 5 and schedule 4, Part 3 - Cases beginning with an appearance from custody The provisions introduce Scotland wide jurisdiction for sheriffs dealing with first appearances from police custody. This enables custody proceedings to be heard in any sheriff court in Scotland by a sheriff of any sheriffdom, no matter where the alleged offence took place. The provision also enables the court to hear any continuation of a case, up until a not guilty plea is tendered, if that occurs. In operation
The provisions continue to enable custody proceedings to be heard in any sheriff court in Scotland by a sheriff of any sheriffdom, no matter where the alleged offence took place.
The provision creates the necessary flexibility to ensure the continued safe and effective operation of custody courts during the coronavirus outbreak while public health guidance remains in place and allows the court to deal with guilty pleas and move them out of the court system, and in doing so, minimise the number of cases that have to be transferred to local court.
For as long as court business is affected by COVID-19 and public health measures remain in place these provisions will continue to be required. This provision enables the effective continued operation of custody court business and allows custody courts to be conducted in a way which will minimise unnecessary travel and congregation of people in accordance with public health guidance, and allow Police Scotland and the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service to continue to operate a smaller number of centralised police custody suites and court hubs in response to the outbreak.
Commenced and still in force. No change to status since last reporting period
8. First Scottish Act Section 5 and schedule 4, Part 4 - Extension of time limits See section 7.1.4 In operation Supplementary information provided – see section 7.1.4 for further information Commenced and still in force. No change to status since last reporting period
9. First Scottish Act Section 5 and schedule 4, Part 5 - Evidence The provisions allow evidence by statement where a witness is unable to attend court because their attendance at court presents a health risk connected to coronavirus. In operation The provisions are intended to ensure that the inability of witnesses to give evidence in court because, for example, they are self-isolating due to coronavirus, does not unnecessarily prevent criminal trials from proceeding. As such, it is likely to continue to be of value for as long as public health guidelines around self-isolation and coronavirus remain in effect, especially when infection rates are high. Commenced and still in force. No change to status since last reporting period
10. First Scottish Act Section 5 and schedule 4, Part 6 - Community orders Schedule 4, Para 12-13 extend time limits for unpaid work in Community Payback Orders (CPOs) by 12 months, and require similar time limits to be imposed in any new orders made.
Schedule 4, para 12(3) – regulation making power to further extend time limits
Schedule 4, Para 14 introduce regulation making powers to postpone requirements in CPOs or Drug Treatment and Testing Orders. Schedule 4, Para 15 - introduce regulation-making powers for the Scottish Ministers to vary, or revoke requirements in CPOs or Drug Treatment and Testing Orders.
In operation
Not in operation
Not in operation

Schedule 4, para 15 – power to vary requirements in CPOs or Drug Treatment and Testing Orders - draft regulations to vary unpaid work and other activity requirements as part of a CPO were laid on 29 January 2021, and these were approved by Parliament on 11 March 2021 following scrutiny[6]. The Community Orders (Coronavirus) (Scotland) Regulations 2021 came into force at 5pm on Monday 15 March 2021 and vary the unpaid work or other activity requirements imposed in existing CPOs (except those imposed for domestic abuse, sexual offences, or stalking), reducing these by 35%. This is a necessary and proportionate action to reduce the overall volume of hours to be delivered and ensure that the community justice system can operate effectively.
Commenced and still in force
No change since last reporting period
No change since last reporting period
Commenced and in force
Regulations came into force on 15 March 2021.
11. First Scottish Act Section 5 and schedule 4, Part 7 - Parole Board The provisions allow parole hearings to continue and avoid postponements. They also provide the power for the Chair of the Parole Board to delegate their functions to another member of the Parole Board, should they become incapacitated for any reason. Provisions in Paragraphs 17, 18(1) and 18(3) are in operation
The Parole Board continue to hold hearings almost unaffected. In the period 23 March 2020 to 28 June 2021, over 99% of Tribunals/Oral Hearings scheduled have been heard successfully with only 4 of 1,620 unsuccessful.
Given the success of remote hearings, the Scottish Government expired provisions which allowed cases involving extended sentence prisoners recalled under section 17(3) of the Prisoners and Criminal Proceedings (Scotland) Act 1993 and serving the extension part of their sentence, to be heard at casework meetings by two rather than three members, rather than at an oral hearing. These provisions became non-essential and were expired early.
The Government was also of the view that provisions which allow for the Parole Board to decide cases subject to Part IV of the Parole Board (Scotland) Rules 2001 on paper rather than by conducting a hearing face to face by allowing them to determine that an oral hearing would only take place if it was in the interests of justice to have one were no longer essential given the successful use of the provisions which allow for the use of a live link for oral hearings. The Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 (Early Expiry of Provisions) (No. 2) Regulations 2021 were made to provide for the expiry of the provisions in paragraph 18(2), (4) and (5) provisions once they were identified as no longer essential.
Provisions in Paragraphs 17, 18(1) and 18(3) are commenced and still in force.
Paragraph 18(2) expired from 14 June 2021
The Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 (Early Expiry of Provisions) (No. 2) Regulations 2021 expired the provisions in paragraphs 18(2), 18(4) and 18(5) with effect from 14 June 2021.
12. First Scottish Act Section 5 and schedule 4, Part 8 - Release of prisoners See section 7.1.5 Not in operation Supplementary information provided – see section 7.1.5 for further information. Commenced and still in force. No change to status since last reporting period
13. First Scottish Act Section 5 and schedule 4, Part 9 - Legal Aid The provisions allow for a reduction of the level of scrutiny required before interim payment may be made, enhanced powers of recovery in the event of overpayments resulting from interim payments, and removal of conditions for counsel to be able to apply for interim payment. In operation
Arrangements were introduced on 12 January 2021[7] in the Scottish court system to support the current lockdown, as part of the public health response to the COVID-19, which mean there will be a significant reduction in cases proceeding.
Restrictions on travel and to support physical distancing also impact on businesses providing legally aided services to clients.
Many providers of legal aid services will continue to experience disruption to cash flow and the provisions will support access to payment prior to a case concluding. As we emerge from the public health crisis, maintaining a legal aid sector will be crucial to the recovery of the justice system and the resolution of problems associated with the pandemic and resulting economic shock.
Commenced and still in force. No change to status since last reporting period
14. First Scottish Act Section 6 and schedule 5 –
Alcohol licensing and section 7 and schedule 6, Part 1 - Licensing other than alcohol licensing
The Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 and the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 and associated statutory instruments provide the legislative framework to support licensing of activities such as the sale and supply of alcohol and taxi and private car hire. The legislative framework contains strict timescales and deadlines with little or no flexibility available to the relevant authorities. Without legislative change, the impact of the coronavirus outbreak would result in people losing their licences through no fault of their own. In operation
Licensing Boards and licensing authorities are responsible for the day-to-day administration of the civil licensing regimes in Scotland. Information on the operation of the civil licensing regimes and how these powers under the first Scottish Act have been used is not held centrally.
Examples of licensing authorities continuing to make use of the provisions include holding virtual licence hearings and meetings to progress day to day licensing business due to the coronavirus outbreak and physical distancing requirements. The provisions require to remain in place to enable the licensing regime to function effectively and to ensure, as far as practicable, people do not lose licenses through no fault of their own.
Commenced and still in force No change to status since last reporting period
15. First Scottish Act Section 7 and schedule 6, Part 2 – Freedom of Information(FOI) (FOI) See section 7.1.6 Section 7, schedule 6, part 2, paragraph 6 - in operation
Section 7, schedule 6, part 2, paragraph 7 – in operation Supplementary information provided – see section 7.1.6 for further information
Commenced and still in force No change to status since last reporting period
16. First Scottish Act Section 7 and schedule 6, Part 3 - Duties in respect of reports and other documents The provision allows statutory reporting requirements to be postponed, and documents to be made available online instead of being made physically available. In operation These are generic provisions that apply to reporting and publication requirements across the public sector. The suspension of physical publication requirements is in use, since it is not certain that physical access to documents can be provided in all circumstances while the potential for re-imposition of restrictions remains and while there is a continuing encouragement for people to work from home where possible and appropriate. The power to postpone reporting should only be used as necessary to enable public authorities to focus on the coronavirus response. Given the aim of reducing undue burdens, it would be disproportionate to request authorities to report on the individual uses of these powers, however the provision continues to be necessary for the reasons set out above. Commenced and still in force No change to status since last reporting period
17. First Scottish Act Section 7 and schedule 6, Part 4 - Local Authority meetings The provisions allow Local Authorities to exclude the public from Local Authority meetings on the basis that the presence of the public constitutes a real and substantial risk to public health relating to coronavirus. In addition, the requirement to provide hard copies or extracts of a document requested by a member of the public in their offices will only be provided if it is reasonably practicable and will no longer be compulsory. In operation
All 32 councils have arrangements in place for remote meetings. It is the responsibility of councils to determine for themselves the governance arrangements they put in place and it is not appropriate for the Scottish Government to intervene.
A briefing prepared by the Improvement Service in October 2020 highlighted around half of councils reported or were found to be livestreaming meetings or allowing members of the public to participate (deputations etc.) in at least one meeting. Many of the councils that did not have the ability to livestream or allow the public to participate, were exploring options for doing so. This provision will remain in place until it expires at the end of 30 September 2021. At that time it is anticipated that councils will continue to operate meetings remotely until it is safe to resume physical business. Access to recordings of meetings and minutes will continue to be made available where required.”
Commenced and still in force No change to status since last reporting period
18. First Scottish Act Section 7 and schedule 6, and Part 5 – Duties under the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000 The provisions allow Scottish Ministers, by further regulation, to amend the statutory reporting deadlines of Scottish administration annual accounts. Not in operation
The provisions allow for amendment of the statutory deadlines for annual accounts as set by the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000. The deadlines for such accounts is 31 December 2021. Although the powers under schedule 6, Part 5 do not currently require to be used, the provisions remain necessary overall in the short term as a contingency to ensure that during the resurgence of the virus, if for example, this is resulting in staff absences, that they could be used if required at that time. It is proportionate and appropriate that this provision remains commenced and still in force, although not operational in this reporting period.
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period. As part of the Coronavirus Acts (Scotland) (Extension and Expiry) Act 2021, these provisions will be expired at the end of 30 September 2021.
19. First Scottish Act Section 8 and schedule 7, paragraphs 1(b) and 5 - Social security See section 7.1.7 On re-determinations – Since the last reporting period, Social Security Scotland received no requests to extend timescales for re-determinations. No clients reported difficulties in obtaining information due to COVID-19 and, as such, all decisions have been made within the required timescales. Overall, Social Security Scotland has extended timescales allowed for re-determinations on 38 occasions, taking an average 38 days to complete these re-determinations. Clients have cited COVID-19 reasons or difficulties for not being able to provide evidence sooner and on these occasions Social Security Scotland are working with the client by extending and ensuring their application is determined as quickly as possible Paragraphs 1(b) and 5 are commenced andin force in force
Paragraphs 1(a), 2, 3 and 4 expired[8] as they are spent provisions.
No change to status since last reporting period. Paragraphs 1(b) and 5 are to be expired by the Coronavirus (Extension and Expiry) (Scotland) Act from end of 30 September 2021.
20. First Scottish Act Section 8 and schedule 7, paragraphs 6 and 7 -Irritancy clauses in commercial leases: non-payment of rent or other sums due The provision allows for the statutory period for non-eviction of commercial tenants for non-payment of rent to be extended from 14 days to 14 weeks. In operation As a preventative measure it is not possible to quantify how effective it has been. However, anecdotally it has been working well in conjunction with the Code of Practice for the Commercial Property Sector, which has also been extended to at least 22 March 2022, to prevent evictions for non-payment of rent. Rather landlords and tenants are continuing to arrive at mutually beneficial agreements on lease. Restructuring, Rental deferments, holidays and reductions. There is accordingly little evidence of evictions taking place although this has always been possible under the Scottish Act. Commenced and still in force No change to status since last reporting period
21. First Scottish Act Section 8 and schedule 7, paragraphs 8 to 10 - Duration of planning permission The provision provides that if planning permission or planning permission in principle was to lapse during the emergency period, then the period within which development is to be commenced is extended. In operation
It would be disproportionate to request authorities or applicants to report on the individual uses of these powers. Whilst some restrictions remain in place, this means that further delays can be expected and it may take some time to deal with the backlog of developments. The Scottish Government will continue to liaise with stakeholders as part of the ongoing review of the operation and continued necessity of these provisions.
Commenced and still in force
The emergency and extended periods, as amended by SSI 2021/100[9] under powers conferred by these provisions, mean the emergency period will end on 30 September 2021 and the extended period on 31 March 2022.
No change to status since last reporting period. The provisions have been extended by the Coronavirus (Extension and Expiry) (Scotland) Act, however, regulations will be required to be laid in order to amend the current “emergency” and “extended” periods.
22. First Scottish Act Section 8 and schedule 7, paragraphs 11 to 19 – Land Registration The provisions enable the digital submission of applications to the property registers and extend the period of protection provided by advance notices. In operation / expired
The portal for the submission of digital applications continues to operate successfully. The Keeper of the Registers of Scotland will continue to update Parliament on its operation via the Economy Energy and Fair Work Committee.
As per her commitment prior to commencement of the Act, and following consultation with the Law Society of Scotland, the Keeper declared the property registers fully open on 1 March 2021, which in turn ended the extended protection for advance notices. The advance notice provisions (paras 15 to 19) were fully expired by 30 June 2021. As part of the work related to introducing digital submission provisions on a permanent basis, new impact assessments are being prepared across a number of disciplines. The initial findings continue to show from an equalities perspective that the measures do not unlawfully discriminate in any way with respect to any of the protected characteristics (including age, disability, sex, pregnancy and maternity, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, race, religion or belief, marriage or civil partnership), either directly or indirectly. Similarly, the measures have no direct impact on children and young people under the age of 18.
Commenced and still in force
Paragraphs 11 to 14
Expired
Paragraphs 15 to 18[10] were expired on 30 March 2021. Paragraph 19[11] was expired on 30 June 2021.
23. First Scottish Act Section 8 and schedule 7, paragraphs 20 to 22 - Anatomy Act The provision extends the three year statutory time limit under the Anatomy Act 1984 for the retention of bodies which have been donated for anatomical research, to that of the life of the emergency legislation. This ensures that during this pandemic, licence holders are not committing an offence by possessing a body beyond the statutory three years from the date of the deceased’s death. Not in operation As cremations have generally been able to proceed without issue, albeit with further advanced planning, this provision was expired on 30 March 2021 by SSI 2021/93[12]. Expired No change to status since last reporting period.
24. First Scottish Act Section 8 and schedule 7, paragraphs 23 to 30 - Scrutiny of subordinate legislation in urgent cases Paragraphs 23 to 30 of schedule 7 allow subordinate legislation which is subject to the affirmative procedure to be instead made under a made affirmative procedure where necessary by reason of urgency. Not in operation The provisions have not required to be used in the reporting period. The provisions are appropriate and proportionate in the current circumstances to provide the Scottish Government and Parliament with the flexibility needed for any unexpected change in circumstances that may still arise due to the pandemic. The provisions would only be exercised when necessary. Commenced and still in force No change to status since last reporting period.
25. First Scottish Act Section 8 and schedule 7, paragraph 31 – Business Improvement Districts The provision extends to 31 March 2021 the duration of Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) that were due to end prior to that date, without the legal requirement to hold a ballot. Not in operation
The provision expressly states that it extends some BIDs to 31 March 2021, and no further. Therefore, it has no legal effect beyond that date and so was not operational in this reporting period. Regulations[13] to expire the spent provision were laid in Parliament on 26 May, following the return of Parliament after the 6 May election. These Regulations came into force and expired the provision on 30 June 2021.
Expired These provisions were expired on 30 June 2021 by the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 (Early Expiry of Provisions) Regulations 2021
26. First Scottish Act Section 8 and schedule 7, paragraphs 32 and 33 - Muirburn The provisions ended the current Muirburn (management of moorland by burning and cutting) season early and they suspend Muirburn for the period in which the provisions are in force. In ordinary circumstances, Muirburn season runs from 1 October to 15 April inclusive in Scotland. Not in operation As provided for by SSI 2020/260[14], which came into effect on 1 October 2020, the provision was expired on 30 March 2021 by SSI 2021/93[15]. Expired No change to status since last reporting period.
27. Second Scottish Act Section 2, schedule 1, Part 1 – Student residential tenancy: termination by tenant See section 7.2.1 In operation Supplementary information provided at 7.2.1 Commenced and still in force No change to status since last reporting period.
28. Second Scottish Act Section 2, schedule 1, Part 2 – Tenancies: pre-action requirements for order for possession or eviction order on ground of rent arrears See section 7.2.2 In operation Supplementary information provided – see section 7.2.2 for further information. Commenced and still in force No change to status since last reporting period.
29. Second Scottish Act Section 2, schedule 1, Part 3- Coronavirus Carer’s Allowance Supplement Paragraph 6 modifies the effect of section 81 of the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018. This has the effect of adding an additional £230.10 to awards of Carer’s Allowance Supplement for the period from 1 April 2020 to 30 September 2020. This addition is known as the Coronavirus Carer’s Allowance Supplement (‘CCAS’). In operation Some backdated payments of Carer’s Allowance Supplement made in December 2020 and June 2021 included payments of CCAS. Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period. As part of the Coronavirus Acts (Scotland) (Extension and Expiry) Act 2021, these provisions will be expired at the end of 30 September 2021.
30. Second Scottish Act Section 2, schedule 1, Part 4 - Social Care Staff Support Fund Paragraph 7 makes provision to require the Scottish Ministers to establish a Social Care Staff Support Fund as soon as is practicable when the second Scottish Act came into force. Paragraph 7(2) sets out what the fund is to be used for. The Scottish Ministers must use the fund to provide financial assistance to workers in the social care sector who have a restricted ability to work due to coronavirus and, as a result of that, have a reduced income and consequently are experiencing, or would experience, financial hardship while the second Scottish Act is in force. Paragraphs 7(3) to 7(7) require the Scottish Minsters to make further provision by regulations about the establishment, maintenance and administration of the fund. In operation The Social Care Staff Support Fund (Coronavirus) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 established the Fund. These were amended by SSI 2020/469[16], which extended the Fund to cover a small group of social care workers who were shielding, but were not placed on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme between March – October 2020. This element of the Fund closed 24 February 2021. Commenced and still in force No change to status since last reporting period.
31. Second Scottish Act Section 2, schedule 1, Part 5 – Bankruptcy The provisions protect those in unsustainable debt by making bankruptcy more accessible, they provide that: the Minimal Asset Process (MAP) fee is reduced to £50; no fee will be payable in MAP cases for those receiving certain benefits, including when those benefits are not the applicant’s sole income; the maximum debt level for MAP is increased to £25,000, and student loan debt is removed from that calculation; the Full Administration fee is reduced to £150; no fee will be payable in Full Administration cases for those receiving certain benefits, including when those benefits are not the applicant’s sole income; and the minimum debt level for creditor petitions is increased to £10,000. All bankruptcy-related forms and circulars may be sent electronically. In operation
The provision for increased minimum debt level for creditor petition bankruptcy remains in operation along with those that enable electronic service of documents and virtual meetings in bankruptcy procedures.
Not in operation
The following measures have already been placed on a permanent footing through The Bankruptcy (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations 2021 which commenced on 29 March 2021. This SSI also expired the equivalent Coronavirus Act provisions from the same date. These measures are:
  • Paragraph 9 – The financial criteria for Minimal Asset Process bankruptcy.
  • Paragraph 11 – Deadline for sending proposals for debtor contribution orders.
  • Paragraph 13 – Enabling electronic signatures on forms.
  • Paragraph 14 – Revision to fee structure for bankruptcy debtor applications
Commenced and still in force
Paragraphs 8, 10 and 12 of Part 5 of Schedule 1
These provisions have been further extended by virtue of the Coronavirus (Extension and Expiry) (Scotland) Act. Expired Paragraphs 9, 11, 13 and 14 of Part 5 of Schedule 1[17]
32. Second Scottish Act Section 2, schedule 1, Part 6 – Mental health: named person nomination The second Scottish Act temporarily removes the requirement for a nominated person to have their signature witnessed by a prescribed person when they agree to become a named person. This change applies to section 250(2A) of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 and only affects the process for the proposed named person (nominee). There are no changes to the process for the patient (nominator). In operation These provisions retain all the safeguards for the patient and are being applied to minimise any delay in the operation of the Mental Health Tribunal Scotland which is responsible for determining certain detentions. In addition this change ensures that people can continue to be treated and cared for in a way which respects their rights and allows services to be delivered effectively. Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period This provision has been extended by virtue of the Coronavirus (Extension and Expiry) (Scotland) Act 2021.
33. Second Scottish Act Section 2, schedule 1, Part 7 – Care Homes See section 7.2.3 Not in operation Supplementary information provided – see section 7.2.3 for further information Commenced and still in force No change to status since last reporting period
34. Second Scottish Act Section 2, schedule 1, Part 8 – Powers to purchase care home services and care at home providers See section 7.2.4 Not in operation Supplementary information provided – see section 7.2.4 for further information Commenced and still in force No change to status since last reporting period
35. Second Scottish Act Section 2, schedule 1, Part 9 – Care homes: further provisions See section 7.2.5 In operation Supplementary information provided – see section 7.2.5 for further information Commenced and still in force No change to status since last reporting period
36. Second Scottish Act Section 2, schedule 1, Part 10 – Marriage and civil partnership Schedule 1, Part 10, paragraph 24 requires the Scottish Ministers, in conjunction with the Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages for Scotland, to take such steps as they consider necessary to ensure that the solemnisation of marriages and registration of civil partnerships continue to be available in Scotland whilst paragraph 24 is in force. It specifies that the steps taken must ensure that a person’s right to marry, which is protected by Article 12 of the ECHR, is not disproportionately interfered with for reasons relating to coronavirus. It also requires the Scottish Ministers to report on the steps taken and on the number of marriages and civil partnerships that have taken place. Not in operation This provision was suspended on 30 March 2021 by SSI 2021/93.[18] Couples wishing to marry or register a civil partnership are generally able to do so and it is the Scottish Government’s policy to ensure the continued availability of marriage and civil partnership. Further, the right of men and women of marriageable age is protected under Article 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Suspended No change to status since last reporting period
37. Second Scottish Act Section 3, schedule 2, Part 1 – Criminal justice -Criminal proceedings: extension of time limits Criminal proceedings: extension of time limits Paragraph 1 of schedule 2 makes provision to extend certain statutory time limits contained in the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 relating to criminal proceedings. In operation
Delays in progressing criminal cases as a result of the impact of coronavirus on the court system (in particular, jury trials) continued to remain a significant issue in this period and this provision ensured that there did not need to hold further hearings to re-adjourn cases on a case-by-case basis when time limits on individual adjournments were reached, placing further pressure on the courts at a time when their capacity is limited. Sheriff Summary court business resumed on 19 April 2021 with trial courts returning to the pre-January lockdown loadings of three programmed trials and two back-up cases with witnesses on standby.
Commenced and still in force No change to status since last reporting period
38. Second Scottish Act Section 3, schedule 2 and Part 1 Criminal justice -Arrangements for the custody of persons detained at police stations Arrangements for the custody of persons detained at police stations The provisions under paragraph 2 of schedule 2 allow Scottish Ministers to make arrangements for the transfer and custody of prisoners in police stations in connection with appearances before the court by electronic means, and administrative functions connected with such appearances, to be performed by Prisoner Custody Officers. In operation
These provisions continue to be necessary to support the operation of vital custody hubs across Scotland.
As at the end of June 2021, there are fourteen sites where Prisoner Custody Officers are facilitating the movement of detained persons for their remote appearance for court. Police Scotland, the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service and Scottish Prison Service are actively considering how these provisions can further extend the use of new custody hubs to reduce the physical appearance of people within the court estate.
Commenced and still in force No change to status since last reporting period
39. Second Scottish Act Section 3, schedule 2, Part 1 Criminal justice -Expiry of undertaking under section 25(2)(a) of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2016 Expiry of undertaking under section 25(2)(a) of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2016 Paragraph 6 of schedule 2 makes provision which enables the court to prevent the expiry of an undertaking given under section 25(2)(a) of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2016 by changing the time at which the person who gave it is to appear at court when certain conditions are met. In operation
This provision provides the court with the power to prevent the expiry of an undertaking and any conditions attached to it by changing the time the person is due to appear at court.
By preventing the expiry of undertakings in this way, the measure has allowed COPFS to review the previously extended undertaking timescales, so dates may revert back to within 28 days of liberation, and 14 days for domestic abuse cases.
Retaining this provision will ensure the court continues to have the power to prevent the expiry of an undertaking and any conditions attached to it if a person fails to appear at court as required by the terms of their undertaking, the court considers that the failure to appear is attributable to a reason relating to coronavirus and it is not appropriate to grant a warrant for the person’s arrest. This enables the preservation of protective conditions of undertaking that may otherwise be lost where a person fails to attend court due to coronavirus and is a key measure to preserve public and victim safety during the coronavirus outbreak, particularly in sensitive cases of domestic abuse.
Commenced and still in force No change to status since last reporting period
40. Second Scottish Act Section 3, schedule 2, Part 1 –
Criminal Justice –Fixed Penalty Notices under the Fixed Penalty Notices under the Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions) (Scotland) Regulations 2020
Schedule 2, Part 1, paragraph 7 amended regulation 9 of the Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 so that fixed penalty notices under those regulations could not be given to those aged 16 or 17. As a consequence, a police officer could only issue a Fixed Penalty Notice under these regulations where the officer reasonably believed that the person is aged 18 or over. Not in operation The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 have been revoked. New Regulations[19] in place continue the policy that a police officer[20] can only issue a Fixed Penalty Notice where the officer reasonably believes that the person is aged 18 or over. This provision is therefore no longer necessary and was expired on 30 March 2021 by SSI 2021/93.[21] Expired No change to status since last reporting period
41. Second Scottish Act Section 3, schedule 2, Part 2 – Proceeds of Crime Paragraph 8 inserts a new subsection (4A) in section 99 (confiscation orders: postponement) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (‘the 2002 Act’). Subsection (4A) specifies that, for the purposes of section 99(4) of the 2002 Act, “exceptional circumstances” includes the effect (whether direct or indirect) of coronavirus on the proceedings. Paragraph 9 inserts section 116A to the 2002 Act and makes provision for an accused to make application to the court for a further extension of the time to pay a confiscation order where the court accepts that an accused’s inability to pay has been affected (whether directly or indirectly) as a result of coronavirus, and dis-applies the payment of interest on the outstanding amount as set out at section 117 of the 2002 Act. In operation
The disruption to usual court business is expected to continue despite the relaxation in Covid restrictions. Moreover, the Lord President issued a directive taking effect from 12 January 2021 which has again sought to prioritise only High court cases as well as priority and custody Sheriff Court cases. Application of that direction to confiscation in the Sheriff Court has been patchy resulting in a number of the confiscation cases again being administratively adjourned to later dates. These provisions will help to ensure that the confiscation process is not frustrated due to these delays. The provisions also ensure that individuals are not treated unfairly or disproportionately throughout this period if they have been unable to pay a confiscation order for reasons related to coronavirus.
Commenced and still in force No change to status since last reporting period
42. Second Scottish Act Section 3, schedule 2, Part 3 – Intimation, etc. of documents Where there is provision requiring or permitting a document to be displayed on the walls (or any other part) of a court building, or to be made publicly available within a court, that is instead to be done by publication of the document on the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) website. Paragraph 1A (2) and 1A (3) provides direction making powers for the Lord President - providing latitude for the courts to adjust the operation of the new rule as necessary. This could allow, for example, redaction of sensitive information to account for any issues arising from the potential publication of sensitive data on the SCTS website. In operation
The disruption to usual court access by members of the public is expected to continue. In addition the expansion of remote hearings has further reduced public attendance in court buildings. These provisions help to ensure that documents can continue to be made publically available, as required or permitted by statute. There are no alternatives which would prevent users of the justice system from adhering to rules for physical distancing and minimising contact. Reverting to placing documents on the walls of court as a means of public display would be irreconcilable with rules for physical distancing and minimising contact.
Commenced and still in force No change to status since last reporting period
43. Second Scottish Act Section 4, schedule 3, Part 1 – Reports, etc. under the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 Paragraph 1 of schedule 3 amends the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 in relation to the dates by which; i) a Citizens Assembly on climate change is required to have completed its deliberations and reported to the Scottish Ministers and Scottish Parliament (such that if the Assembly is unable, for a reason relating to coronavirus, to report by 28 February 2021 then it must do so as soon as reasonably practicable after that date), and ii) the Scottish Ministers are required to have established – via regulations - a national Nitrogen Balance Sheet (the deadline is changed to 24 months after the relevant section of the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019 came into force, which in practice means by 23 March 2022). Not in operation (expired). Expiredas a spent provision as a spent provision No change to status since last reporting period
44. Second Scottish Act Section 4, schedule 3, Part 2 – Accounts of registered social landlords Paragraph 2 of schedule 3 amends section 70 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2010. It dis-applies the duty, in respect of the financial year ending 31 March 2020, for Registered Social Landlords to submit audited annual accounts to the Scottish Housing Regulator within six months of the end of the period to which they relate. Instead, they must be provided within nine months of the end of the period to which they relate. Not in operation In operation for the financial year ending 31 March 2020 only. Expired as a spent provision No change to status since last reporting period
45. Second Scottish Act Section 4, schedule 3, Part 3 – Accounts under the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000 This provision makes an amendment to the first Scottish Act to reflect the periods most likely to be affected by the coronavirus outbreak (i.e. financial years 2019/20 and 2020/2021), as part of the response to the accounting timetable disruption caused by the outbreak. The provision allows by further regulation amendments to the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000 as it applies to accounts that are required under section 19 or 20 of that Act. Not in operation Expired as a spent provision No change to status since last reporting period.
46. Second Scottish Act Section 4, schedule 3, Part 4 – Housing (Scotland) Act 1987: statement under section 33B Paragraph 4 of schedule 3 amended section 33B (1) of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 (‘the 1987 Act’) to extend, by six months, the deadline for the Scottish Ministers to publish a statement on the circumstances and criteria for exercising their power, in section 33A of the 1987 Act to modify referrals between Scottish Local Authorities on the grounds of local connection. The deadline is now 18 months (by 7 May 2021) rather than 12 months after the coming into force of section 33B (1) (on 7 November 2019.) The provision also gives the Scottish Ministers the power to make regulations to further extend the period by up to an additional six months (by 7 November 2021), on a one-off basis, should this be necessary. Not in operation (expired) The regulation making powers have not been used since the provisions came into force. Expired as a spent provision No change to status since last reporting period
47. Second Scottish Act Section 5, schedule 4, Part 1 – UEFA European Championship Part 1 of schedule 4 modifies the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Act 2020. Not in operation (expired) Expired as a spent provision No change to status since last reporting period
48. Second Scottish Act Section 5, schedule 4, Part 2 – Listed buildings and conservation areas: consents Paragraph 2 amends section 16 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 (the ‘1997 Act’) to extend the duration of a listed building consent or a conservation area consent that would otherwise lapse during the emergency period because works authorised by the consent have not begun. In operation It would be unduly burdensome to request authorities or applicants to report on the individual uses of these powers. Whilst construction sites are permitted to remain open, it may take some time to deal with the backlog of developments. The Scottish Government will continue to liaise with stakeholders as part of the ongoing review of the operation and continued necessity of these provisions. Commenced and still in force
The emergency and extended periods, as amended by SSI 2021/100[22] under powers conferred by these provisions, mean the emergency period will end on 30 September 2021 and the extended period on 31 March 2022. The provisions have been extended by the Coronavirus (Extension and Expiry) (Scotland) Act, however, regulations will be required to be laid in order to amend the current “emergency” and “extended” periods.
49. Second Scottish Act Section 5, schedule 4, Part 3 – Registers kept by the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland Paragraph 3 makes provision for registration or recording in the Register of Inhibitions to proceed on the basis of electronic submission of documents and copies of documents to the Keeper of the Registers. Paragraph 4 makes provision for registration in the Register of Judgments and the issuing of documents to proceed on the basis of electronic submission to and by the Keeper of the Registers of documents and copies of documents. In operation
The portal for the submission of digital applications providing access to the Register of Inhibitions and Register of Judgments is operating successfully. The Keeper of the Registers of Scotland will continue to update Parliament on its operation via the Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee. As part of the work related to introducing digital submission provisions on a permanent basis, new impact assessments are being prepared across a number of disciplines. The initial findings continue to show from an equalities perspective that the measures do not unlawfully discriminate in any way with respect to any of the protected characteristics (including age, disability, sex, pregnancy and maternity, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, race, religion or belief, marriage or civil partnership), either directly or indirectly. Similarly, the measures have no direct impact on children and young people under the age of 18.
Commenced and still in force No change to status since last reporting period
50. Second Scottish Act Section 5, schedule 4, Part 4 – Care services: giving of notices by the Care Inspectorate See section 7.2.8 In operation Supplementary information provided – see section 7.2.6 for further information. Commenced and still in force No change to status since last reporting period
51. Second Scottish Act Section 5, schedule 4, Part 5 – Land and Buildings Transaction Tax: additional amount The second Scottish Act extends to 36 months, for certain transactions, the period within which a previous main residence can be sold and a repayment of the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) Additional Dwelling Supplement (ADS) claimed. It provides a power for the Scottish Ministers to amend, by order, the period of 36 months or the period of transactions to which the Act applies, where the Scottish Ministers are satisfied that this is appropriate for a reason related to coronavirus. Not in operation (expired) Expired as a spent provision No change to status since last reporting period.
52. Second Scottish Act Section 5, schedule 4, Part 6 – Non-Domestic Rates relief Paragraph 7 amends section 153 of the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994 to allow the Scottish Ministers, during the financial year 2020/21, to make regulations prescribing rules that reduce or remit the amount payable as non-domestic rates. Those rules may reduce or remit the amount either for the whole of that year (including the period prior to the regulations being made), or for such period within that year as is specified in the regulations (including a period beginning prior to the regulations being made). Paragraph 8 provides that no Non-Domestic Rates are payable in respect of premises used wholly or mainly for production of newspapers and related news platforms. This relief applies on a daily basis, from the day after Royal Assent to the Act. The regulations that are amended provide for such relief to continue until and including 31 March 2021. Not in operation Expired as spent provision No change since last reporting period
53. Second Scottish Act Section 5, schedule 4, Part 7 – Execution of documents, etc. Paragraph 9 of schedule 4 removes the requirement for the physical presence of Scottish notaries public, solicitors and advocates in specific circumstances where an oath, affirmation or declaration is made, or where a document is executed, thus allowing for other methods for the duration of the operation of the second Scottish Act. In operation Personal attendance to execute documents and administer oaths in person etc. remains difficult as a result of physical distancing, and these provisions require to remain in place. Commenced and still in force No change to status since last reporting period
54. Second Scottish Act Section 5, schedule 4, Part 8 – Freedom of information Paragraph 12 requires the Scottish Ministers to lay reports before Parliament every two months on their responses to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests during the period that Part 2 of schedule 6 of the first Scottish Act is in force. Paragraph 12(2) sets out the information to be included in each report. In operation Paragraph 12 is in operation and the Scottish Ministers laid their sixth report before the Parliament on 9 June– covering the period 27 March to 26 May 2021.[23] Commenced and still in force No change to status since last reporting period
55. Second Scottish Act Section 5, schedule 4, Part 9 – Low emission zones Paragraph 13 places a requirement on the Scottish Ministers to lay a report before the Scottish Parliament by 4 December 2020 on progress towards establishing low emission zones under Part 2 of the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019. Not in operation
Report[24] was laid in the Scottish Parliament thus meeting the 4 December 2020 deadline. Spent provision expired on 30 March 2021 by SSI 2021/93[25]
Expired No change to status since last reporting period
56. Second Scottish Act Section 5, schedule 4, Part 10 – Council Tax: exempt dwellings Paragraph 14 creates an exemption from paying Council Tax for those properties that were occupied by one of the groups of individuals listed at paragraphs 10 and 12 of schedule 1 of the Council Tax (Exempt Dwellings) (Scotland) Order 1997, and which are unoccupied on or after 17 March 2020 for a reason relating to coronavirus. This exemption applies until the property is occupied or the second Scottish Act ceases to be in force. In operation
There is no central data collected on the extent of use of this provision, and there are no plans to collate information of this nature.
The provision is proportionate and the status of commenced and still in force is appropriate for the time period covered by this report.
This measure therefore provides support to those businesses that rely on students renting their properties during term time.
Commenced and still in force No change to status since last reporting period
57. Second Scottish Act Section 5, schedule 4, Part 11 – Traffic Regulation Paragraph 15 of schedule 4 has the effect of extending the maximum duration of Temporary Traffic Regulation Orders (TTROs) made under section 14 of the Road Traffic Act 1984 (the ‘1984 Act’) which can restrict or prohibit the use of certain types of roads, from 6 months to 18 months.
Those roads are existing footpath, bridleway, cycle track or byway open to all vehicles. The maximum duration of TTROs on all other roads is unchanged and remains 18 months (see section 15(1) (b) of the 1984 Act). It also substitutes a reference to the 6 month time limit with a reference to 18 months in section 15(3) of the 1984 Act which deals with the power of the national authority (the Scottish Ministers) to direct that a TTRO may continue in force for a further period.
Not in operation
Provision expired on 30 March 2021 by SSI 2021/93[26] .
Expired No change to status since last reporting period
58. Second Scottish Act Section 5, schedule 4, Part 12 - Restriction on giving grant to businesses connected to tax havens Schedule 4, Part 12 introduces new conditions in relation to tax havens that must be met before the Scottish Ministers, or any public body administering grants on their behalf, may make a coronavirus-related grant to a company. The Scottish Ministers are required to take steps to satisfy themselves that the conditions are met.
A coronavirus-related grant may not be made if the conditions are not met and if, after a grant has been made, it is established that the conditions were not in fact met, the grant will be immediately repayable by the grantee. The conditions that must be met are that the grantee company must not be based in a tax haven, the subsidiary of a company based in a tax haven, the parent company of a subsidiary based in a tax haven nor party to an arrangement under which any of its profits are subject to the tax regime of a tax haven.
In operation.
List of tax havens has not been amended since last reporting period.
The list consists of:
  • American Samoa
  • Anguilla
  • Dominica
  • Fiji
  • Guam
  • Palau
  • Panama
  • Samoa
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • US Virgin Islands
  • Vanuatu
  • Seychelles
Commenced and still in force. No change to status since last reporting period.
59. UK Act Section 2 - Emergency registration of nurses and other healthcare professionals Section 2 introduces schedule 1 which modifies the Nursing and Midwifery Order 2001, and the Health Professions Order 2001, to permit the independent statutory regulators, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) to add people they consider to be “fit and proper and suitably experienced” to an emergency temporary professional register for the duration of a public health emergency as declared by the Secretary of State. In operation
Both temporary registers under the UK Act have been in operation continuously since the onset of the pandemic. They are still required to bolster capacity in responding to the resurgence of new variants of the coronavirus while standing up normal services and providing crucial support for the national vaccination programme. The Health and Social Care Directorates Workforce Directorate has worked with the regulators with temporary registers (both under the Act and under their own legislation) to maximise the uptake of available posts in the Health Boards.
Commenced and still in force No change to status since last reporting period.
60. UK Act Section 4 and schedule 3 – Emergency arrangements concerning medical practitioners: Scotland Section 4 introduces schedule 3 which makes temporary modifications to the National Health Service (Primary Medical Services Performers Lists) (Scotland) Regulations 2004 and creates a limited exception to the requirement that NHS GPs must be accepted on a register with their local Health Board (called a “performers list”) before beginning to practice in any GP surgery which provides NHS care in that Health Board’s area. In operation
The use of the powers is largely an administrative process and it is for Health Boards to decide whether GPs can perform whilst their application is pending. As such there is no central oversight of the extent of the use of the powers in the reporting period. The provisions continue to be required due to the continuous risk that Health Boards will be subject to staff shortages which could delay the standard processes around the performers list. Powers to further modify the application process by regulations have not been used.
Commenced and still in force No change to status since last reporting period
61. UK Act Section 7 and schedule 6 - Temporary registration of social workers: Scotland The provision increases the available social work workforce during the pandemic by inviting those on a career break, recently retired and final year students to join the register and return to/join frontline services. In operation A direction was made by Scottish Ministers on 30 March 2020 (under section 46C(1) of the Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001) - directing the Scottish Social Services Council to consider applications for registration as a temporary social worker in accordance with section 46D of the Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001. The temporary social work register has been established and over 200 registrants are available to be deployed to frontline services. Details have been shared with Local Authorities in order that they can access registrants should they need to recruit additional social workers. An increase in demand for all social work services still remains with employers using the register for recruitment therefore the temporary social work register continues to be necessary. Commenced and still in force No change in status since last reporting period
62. UK Act Section 10 and schedule 9 - Temporary modification of mental health legislation See section 7.3.1 Not in operation Supplementary information provided – see section 7.3.1 for further information Not yet commenced No change to status since last reporting period
63. UK Act Section 12 - Indemnity for health services activity: Scotland The provision grants Scottish Ministers the discretionary power to make indemnity arrangements for any person who is working within the NHS in Scotland, where the indemnity relates to coronavirus. Not in operation
Scottish Ministers issued a direction[27] on 7 April 2020 under existing powers (the NHS (Scotland) Act 1978) to Health Boards to indemnify staff engaged in the coronavirus response. As directions were made under existing powers in the first reporting period, the provisions around indemnity arrangements under section 12 of the UK Act have not had to be used by Health Boards in this reporting period. Professional negligence claims relating to coronavirus treatment received during the pandemic may still be under investigation or otherwise pending.
Commenced and still in force No change to status since last reporting period.
64. UK Act Section 16 – Duty of Local Authority to assess needs: Scotland, and section 17 – section 16: further provision See section 7.3.2 Supplementary information provided – see section 7.3.2 for further information Commenced and still in force for children’s services.
Suspended for adult services.
Section 16 was suspended in respect of adult services from 30 November by the Coronavirus Act 2020 (Suspension: Adult Social Care) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 (SSI 2020/377). No change to status since last reporting period.
65. UK Act Section 18 and schedule 13 - Registration of deaths and still-births etc. Section 18 introduces schedule 13 which contains temporary modifications relating to the registration of deaths and still-births across the UK. Part 2 of schedule 13 relates to Scotland. In operation The provisions have continued to operate successfully in this reporting period, facilitating remote registration of deaths and still-births to the same standard of accuracy as in-person registration but without unnecessary exposure to coronavirus, and given the efficiency of the process, to enable Local Authorities to better address other remaining registration priorities such as birth and marriage/civil partnership. Commenced and still in force No change to status since last reporting period
66. UK Act Section 20 and schedule 14 – Review of Medical Certificate of Cause of Death and cremation: Scotland Provisions under Part 1 enable Scottish Ministers to suspend the review of randomly selected Medical Certificates of Cause of Death by the Death Certification Review Service (DCRS) and pause interested persons reviews under the Certification of Death (Scotland) Act 2011.
Provisions under Part 2 give Scottish Ministers the power to dis-apply the offence under section 49 of the Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Act 2016, insofar as it relates to the signing of an application for cremation. It also enables Scottish Ministers to suspend sections 53-55 of the Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Act 2016 and relevant associated provisions of the Cremation (Scotland) Regulations 2019.
Part 1 – Not in operation.
Use of the power that was in operation for part of the first reporting period was revoked by direction[28] on 11 May 2020.
Rather than full suspension, Ministers can choose to reduce the percentage of random reviews to be undertaken, as a temporary measure. This is by agreement and does not require legislative change. Parliament are notified via a letter to the Health and Sport Committee.
Part 2 – Not in operation. Use of the powers that were in operation from 8 April 2020 to 22 July 2021 were revoked by determination on 22 July 2021.
Commenced and still in force No change to status since last reporting period
67. UK Act Section 22 - Appointment of temporary Judicial Commissioners The provision relates to the appointment of Judicial Commissioners under the Investigatory Powers Act 2016. Judicial Commissioners are appointed by the Prime Minister, following consultation with Scottish Ministers. The purpose of this provision is to allow the Secretary of State to make regulations allowing the Investigatory Powers Commissioner to appoint temporary commissioners for a 6 month period, renewable to 12 months. Not in operation
The Investigatory Powers (Temporary Judicial Commissioners and Modification of Time Limits) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/360), made under the power in this section, which came into force on 27 March 2020, expired on 27 March 2021.
The appointment of Temporary Judicial Commissioners has ensured that warrants needed by intelligence and law enforcement agencies continued to be considered. The temporary judicial commissioners are no longer in post, and the regulations expired during the sixth reporting period. No further regulations are currently planned therefore the provision has been suspended by UK regulations. This will allow the provision to be revived quickly at a future time should it be decided that further regulations are required. The Scottish Ministers agreed to the suspension of these provisions on a UK wide basis.
Suspended Section 22 was suspended from 21 April 2021 by the Coronavirus Act 2020 (Suspension: Temporary Judicial Commissioners, Urgent Warrants, and Disposal of Bodies) Regulations 2021
68. UK Act Section 23 – Time limits in relation to urgent warrants under Investigatory Powers Act The provision relates to time period for urgent warrants under the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 and gives the Secretary of State the power to make provision by regulations which extend the time periods applying to urgent warrants, should this be necessary given the impact that coronavirus is having, or is likely to have on the capacity of Judicial Commissioners to carry out their functions. Not in operation
The Investigatory Powers (Temporary Judicial Commissioners and Modification of Time Limits) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/360), made under the power in this section, which came into force on 27 March 2020, expired on 27 March 2021.
The appointment of temporary Judicial Commissioners provided the independent Investigatory Powers Commissioner with resilience against the risk that their existing cohort of Judicial Commissioners may not be available as a result of the pandemic.
No further regulations are currently planned therefore the provision has been suspended by UK regulations. This will allow the provision to be revived quickly at a future time should it be decided that further regulations are required. The Scottish Ministers agreed to the suspension of these provisions on a UK wide basis.
Suspended Section 23 was suspended from 21 April 2021 by the Coronavirus Act 2020 (Suspension: Temporary Judicial Commissioners, Urgent Warrants, and Disposal of Bodies) Regulations 2021
69. UK Act Sections 25 to 29 and schedule 15 – Food supply These provisions empowered Scottish Ministers, by regulation, to require those involved in a food supply chain to provide information to help determine whether there was disruption (or risk thereof) to the supply chain. The provisions also provided enforcement powers and imposed restrictions on the use of information. Expired
Industry was very collaborative in sharing data and information throughout the Covid-19 response and so it was decided that there was not enough evidence that the provisions remained proportionate to the risk. The then Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy & Tourism agreed to the early expiry of these provisions on a UK wide basis.
Expired
Expired by The Coronavirus Act 2020 (Early Expiry) Regulations 2021 which came into force on 16 July 2021. These provisions have been expired since last reporting period.
70. UK Act Sections 34 and 35 - Temporary disapplication of disclosure offences: Scotland and Power to reclassify certain disclosure requests: Scotland See section 7.3.3 Not in operation Supplementary information provided – section 7.3.3 for further information Commenced and still in force No change to status since last reporting period
71. UK Act Section 36 - Vaccination and immunisation: Scotland The provisions amend section 40 of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978. The requirement in that section, that vaccinations and immunisations be administered by medical practitioners or persons acting under their direction and control, is removed. In operation
In the first reporting period (on 7 April 2020), Scottish Ministers made directions[29] under section 2(5) of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978, to support vaccination delivery by GP practices where they are affected by coronavirus. The provisions have continued to be in operation in this reporting period. Scottish Ministers have since directed Health Boards to take responsibility for delivering the Influenza (September) and COVID (December) immunisation programmes.
Commenced and still in force No change to status since last reporting period
72. UK Act Section 37 and Part 2 of schedule 16 and section 38 and Part 2 of schedule 17 - Temporary closure of educational institutions and childcare premises, and temporary continuity: education, training and childcare See section 7.3.4 In operation No further directions have been issued – see 7.3.4 below. Commenced and still in force No change to status since last reporting period
73. UK Act Section 46 – NHS pension schemes: suspension of restrictions on return to work: Scotland The provision suspends pension scheme rules which prevent retired NHS staff from returning to work for more than 16 hours per week and require that some staff’s pensions are abated upon return to work. It also suspends the requirement that NHS staff reduce their pay by 10% if they elect to ‘draw down’ their benefits and continue working. In operation The suspension of pension scheme rules has allowed former NHS staff to return to frontline NHS roles, including supporting the vaccination programme, adding vital capacity to the NHS workforce. The measures allow skilled and experienced staff who have recently retired from the NHS to return to work, and they have also allowed retired staff who have already returned to work to increase their commitments if required, without having their pension benefits suspended. Commenced and still in force No change to status since last reporting period
74. UK Act Section 49 and schedule 19 – Health Protection Regulations: Scotland See section 7.3.5 In operation Supplementary information provided – see section 7.3.5 for further information Commenced and still in force No change to status since last reporting period
75. UK Act Section 51 and Part 3 of schedule 21 - Powers relating to potentially infectious persons See section 7.3.6 Schedule 21 powers were “switched on” by way of statutory declaration in March 2020, however the powers have not been used in this reporting period. Supplementary information provided – see section 7.3.6 for further information Commenced and still in force No change to status since last reporting period
76. UK Act Section 52 and Part 3 of schedule 22 - Powers to issue directions relating to events, gatherings and premises See section 7.3.7 Schedule 22 powers were “switched on” by way of statutory declaration in March 2020, however the powers have not been used in this reporting period. Supplementary information provided – see section 7.3.7 for further information Commenced and still in force No change since last reporting period
77. UK Act Section 58 and schedule 28 – Powers in relation to transportation, storage and disposal of dead bodies etc. Section 58 and schedule 28 contain powers relating to the transportation, storage and disposal of dead bodies and other human remains. If advice indicates that the number of people who might die from coronavirus is likely to significantly exceed the capacity to locally or nationally manage the deceased, designated Local Authorities and Scottish Ministers have the ability to take control of a component or components of the death management process. The powers have not been used in the reporting period. Following discussion with the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE), the Scottish Government has brought forward legislation to suspend Parts 2 and 3 of Schedule 28, which mirrors the position in England and Northern Ireland. Parts 1, 4 and 5 commenced and still in force. Parts 2 and 3 were suspended during the reporting period by The Coronavirus Act 2020 (Suspension: Disposal of Bodies) (Scotland) Regulations 2021.
78. UK Act Sections 69 and 70 - Postponement of elections: Scotland The provisions enable Returning Officers and the Presiding Officer to respectively postpone local government by-elections and by-elections for constituency seats to the Scottish Parliament. Section 69 – not in operation
The provision would only have been relevant if a vacancy for a Scottish Parliament constituency seat occurred during the period of the provision being in force.
Section 70 – not in operation In the eighth reporting period the provision was not in operation. The provision was used a total of 20 times to postpone 13 by-elections during it being in force.
Expired The provisions expired during reporting period seven on 6 May 2021 (date of the Scottish Parliament election)
79. UK Act Section 75 – Financial assistance for industry (disapplication of limit under section 8 of the Industrial Development Act 1982) This provision provides that financial assistance provided under section 8 of the Industrial Development Act 1982 is not to count towards the limits set out in the subsection of section 8, if the assistance has been given in relation to the coronavirus. In operation This provision has elements of both reserved and devolved competence. As set out within section 75(3) of the UK Act, there are alternative reporting requirements in place for this provision, however these only relate to designated assistance provided by the Secretary of State. It does not cover assistance provided by the Scottish Ministers or Welsh Ministers. The Scottish Government continues to consider how devolved elements of this provision might aid industry in ever changing circumstances, including as part of Covid recovery. Ministers consider it appropriate that provision which might provide a source of support should not be prematurely expired. It is therefore proportionate and appropriate that this provision remains commenced and still in force, although not operational in this period. Commenced and still in force No change to status since last reporting period

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Email: Jamie.begbie@gov.scot